Go ahead and guess. Go ahead.
Unless you said Trichomoniasis, you were wrong. Trichomoniasis?
According to the CDC, trich is the most common curable sexually transmitted disease, yet 70% of those infected have no symptoms. When symptoms do occur, they can be a bit of itching or burning “down there.” Men and women may experience a discharge, and it can take from 5 days up to nearly a month for symptoms to appear, though it can take even longer for some.
Kind of vague, huh? That’s the problem.
Trichomonas vaginalis (tv) is a parasite that is transmitted during sexual contact. Why some have symptoms and some don’t is not clear.
So if you are among the 70% with no symptoms, what’s the big deal? Here are a few things to ponder:
Pregnant women with trichomoniasis are more likely to deliver pre-term, and babies born to infected mothers tend to have lower birth weights.
Also, because of the inflammation caused by trich, it’s easier to be infected with the HIV virus, and easier to pass it on to a partner.
Trichomoniasis is diagnosed by a lab test. For women it’s often performed with a pap smear, so women who see their OB-GYN regularly may be screened regularly. Check with your OB, though. For those who aren’t sure, a urine lab test can get the job done. If you’re infected, your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic that will take care of it.